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HRTM Program Partners with National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers

November 11, 2011

Professor Shawn Murray, Program Coordinator of the Cheyney University Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Program (HRTM), has announced a partnership with the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD).

"We are deeply honored that NABHOOD has recognized the potential of our program at Cheyney University for training and educating professionals to meet the needs of a growing hospitality industry," said Murray.

The partnership will provide sponsorships, scholarships, internships and mentoring opportunities for Cheyney University students. "We expect that NABHOOD member facilities will find our graduates among the best prepared for every aspect of the hospitality industry," Murray added. “The hotels that are NABHOOD members provide a great opportunity for alumni and others within the Cheyney University community to support hotels and resorts that support our students.”

The Cheyney University HRTM program provides a “hands-on” learning environment that involves 50% lecture and 50% research. Students are prepared for management-level positions in the hotel, restaurant and tourism industries, as well as for continuing their studies in graduate school. Professor Murray said his five-year goal for the program is to become ranked as one of the best programs of its kind in the area.

“Toward that end we’ve adopted a new program emphasis which includes product research and design, marketing, culinary/pastry arts, law and travel and tourism.” The program was recently named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education to the top 20 U. S. colleges and universities awarding degrees to Black, Hispanic, Asian American and American Indian students.

Four Cheyney University HRTM students (James Starks, Sammara Harris, Quiara Dotson, and Samantha Grier) accompanied Professor Murray to the NABHOOD Conference in Miami, Florida last summer. “Students were able to meet and be mentored by hospitality industry leaders there,” Murray noted.

NABHOOD was incorporated in 2001 to increase the number of African Americans developing, managing, operating and owning hotels, to increase vendor opportunities and executive level jobs for minorities, thereby creating wealth within the African American community.

The partnership fulfills Professor Murray’s goal of providing a pipeline for African Americans within the hospitality industry. “We at NABHOOD are excited about our partnership with Cheyney University’s Hospitality Program, and we are committed to ensure that successful graduates will have an opportunity to work in the industry and our hotels,” said NABHOOD President Andy Ingraham.